Feb. 25 (UPI) -- A visitor to an Alberta strip mall snapped photos of an unusual fellow window-shopper: a game bird native to the Middle East.
Keegan Van Rooyen said she took photos of the unusual black and white stripped bird at a strip mall in the Mill Woods area of Edmonton and posted them to a Facebook group for local lost pets.
Facebook users who had spotted the same bird explained it was a chukar, a game bird native to the Middle East. The chukar is the national bird of Pakistan, and are known to be kept on game farms in North America for hunting purposes.
Dale Gienow, executive director of wildlife charity Wild North, said the bird likely escaped from private property where it was to be hunted.
"They're raised for food and hunting. In many places, the birds are released on private property for hunters to hunt," he told CBC News. "The ones we're seeing around here are animals that have escaped from these private game farms. But they do very well in our environment."
A chukar was previously spotted in an Edmonton resident's yard in May 2019.
"Every year we get one or two of these guys that get brought in and people are like, 'What the heck is this, this isn't supposed to be around here,'" Gienow told the Edmonton Journal.